Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday's Trust - The Visit

Nathan and Merry Katherine, Fall, 2004

Tuesday's Trust

The Visit

Our son Nathan told us of an amazing dream he had last night... He came into our den today and said,

"Merry Katherine visited me last night."

Nathan is our middle child having one older brother, Rollin and one baby sister, Merry Katherine. He is two years older than his "baby" sister, and they were always extremely close. Their senses of humor were very much alike, and their hearts could also go very deep. They were able to share all their secrets with one another. When Merry Katherine died, Nathan exclaimed over the casket, "I have lost my best friend!"

So Nathan was sharing with us today that he is always sad and has grown accustomed to his sadness, figuring that's just the way life will be from here on. Sometimes he doesn't realize that his sadness is playing out when he talks to a younger female second cousin and finds himself torn up over one of her misadventures. He later will realize he is unconsciously missing his baby sister when things like this happen... So he had one of those occasions last night and realized he had better remove himself from the situation, recognizing it probably had to do with missing Merry Katherine, and just sort of left it at that.

Later that night, when he went to bed, he ended up dreaming about Merry Katherine. He said that in his dream, they were looking for movies together at Blockbuster, and he felt so happy to be with her that he just kept hugging her and kissing her. (He said this differs from most dreams that he has about her in which he is explaining to her that she is dead and how can she be here? But he said he didn't do that in this dream.) So in the dream, he says, she "took" his affection for a little bit, then began pushing him away like, enough already. He looked at her in his dream and said, "You just have NO idea what it's like to lose your best friend," and began trying to explain it to her.

The Merry Katherine that he had been hugging on that was somewhat aloof from his affection all of a sudden transformed and looked at him and hugged him tight, and very tenderly said, "I know." The change in her persona was so sudden and so vivid that he knew --even as he was still in his dream-- that this was her spirit, and he woke up. Nathan's voice was quivering and he was tearing up as he haltingly described this very poignant part of the dream. He said often when he's upset as he was last night, she will come to him in his dream. But it seems this time was very different because he had both the old and the new Merry Katherine with him in his dream.

I was amazed. Right there, in his dream, was played out in its vivid reality the entire integration process that is supposed to take place in our lifetime of grief work! We are walking through a transformation of our relationship with our child, from one of her

her being physically present, available, and accessible to touch in the here-and-now


her being absent-in-body yet present-in-spirit, not available and accessible in the here-and-now in bodily form, yet in some ways even more available, accessible, and more a part of our lives in her spirit form.

What a jolt for our trust as we come more and more into the acceptance of this new avenue of relationship we are to move into with our child who is still very present with us, but in spirit form!

Nathan and Merry Katherine, Fall, 2004

Thank you to Nathan for allowing us to share his dream/visit here with you tonight.

Pictures, Nathan and Merry Katherine, Fall of 2004, Nathan's first semester at Lee University


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